“Is my boyfriend ‘The One’ or is he just wasting my time?”
This is a common question for women in relationships, especially when you feel your relationship isn’t going anywhere.
The hard part is that when you’re in love with someone, it’s easy to overlook obvious red flags and stay with a man where you’re not getting your needs met.
Fact is: if you’re feeling anxious, needy, and disconnected, you must listen to your gut.
It’s far better to exit a relationship with a man who has no plan to commit than it is to double down on a mistake for the rest of your life.
Yes, it takes courage to break up with a man where you feel chemistry, he says he loves you, and you’ve invested a lot of time and energy.
At the same time, do you really want to continue to feel anxious every day with the one person who should make you feel safe, heard and understood?
Below are 7 telltale signs that you’re wasting your life with your current partner.
1.It’s a rollercoaster ride.
One day he’s into you — making an effort to go on dates, initiating sex, expressing interest in you. A few days later, he stops calling, stops texting, and you feel like you don’t exist.
Whether he’s intending to send you mixed signals or not, clearly, his communication is lacking. You want to think your relationship is headed towards marriage, but how can you have any confidence in a future when his efforts are so inconsistent?
This isn’t healthy, and if you stay with a man who treats you as an option (rather than a permanent fixture) you’ll spend the rest of your life walking on eggshells, not knowing what to expect from your partner.
Unpredictable men may be exciting but they sure aren’t good for your self-esteem.
A bad boyfriend may gaslight you into thinking that you’re being oversensitive. He may say you should be perfectly cool with the fact that his profile is still up, that he doesn’t leave his weekends open for you, or that he only reaches out a few times a week to connect.
Don’t let him. Good boyfriends are consistent and allow you to relax and be your best self.
If you’re constantly checking your cell phone and obsessing as to when you’re going to hear from him again, trust your instincts and get out.
2.He’s playing hard to get.
It’s true. Men love the thrill of the chase.
But if you notice a big difference between the guy who was courting you so enthusiastically and your indifferent boyfriend, you’d better pay attention.
It’s really common for men to come on strong – compliments, texts, vacations and proclamations of a future – but not fully know what they’re getting into.
This doesn’t mean he’s bad, or lying, or playing games. But it does mean that it can feel really confusing when the same man who was declaring his love last week slams on the brakes this week.
When men “play hard to get,” it’s may not be malicious but it is a huge red flag that he’s not that serious about getting into a committed relationship with you at this point in time.
Don’t settle for less. Your boyfriend needs to make an effort for you to feel secure.
3.You’re confused and don’t know where you stand.
Couples will always face challenges in their relationship. But when you’re with the right person, you’ll feel confident knowing that you have someone who is on your team.
It’s something I say in Love U and in all my podcasts. Good relationships are easy. The right man makes you feel safe, heard and understood.
That doesn’t mean that you’re a perfect couple and agree on everything. But it does mean that 90% of the time, you get along famously, and you’ve found a way to peaceably negotiate the 10%.
It’s easy to forget that when you’re in love.
Because of your attraction, because of your memories, because he’s sometimes SO great to you, you end up putting up with way too much turmoil.
You can’t have a relationship with a man whose actions don’t match his words.
You can’t have a relationship with a man who promises you the world and fails to deliver. You can’t have a relationship with a man where you don’t know whether he’s going to respond to your texts, come over to comfort you, or break up with you tomorrow.
A man can’t promise you he’s going to marry you from the get-go, but a good boyfriend will always make you feel like a priority and do his best to treat you right.
4.He doesn’t want to commit.
I have a saying in Love U: “Believe the negatives, ignore the positives.”
What that means is that it’s easy to get caught up in a guy who is tall, cute, smart, funny, successful and into you.
The problem is when he is honest about his intentions and you don’t listen to him because, well, you don’t want to hear the truth.
“I’m not looking for anything serious right now.”
“I’m not sure I ever want to get married again.”
“I’m 50/50 on whether I want kids.”
“You’re too good for me.”
“You deserve more.”
“I’m just looking to have fun for a while.”
“Do we have to define our relationship?”
“Why do we need labels?”
“I’m not in a great place right now.”
All of these are warning shots for you to stay away from him, to not get invested in a mutual future, to move along to another guy without getting your heart broken.
But do you? Never.
It’s too rare to find this kind of chemical connection, so you stay, and fall deeper in love, and hope that he changes his mind about the very thing he told you right up front.
There’s only one kind of good boyfriend in the world: the one who is driving your relationship forward and openly seeks the kind of commitment that you do.
If you’ve got an ambivalent guy – not one who is unsure about marrying you, which is normal – but one who is unsure about committing to anyone at all? Get out.
Don’t cling to the thought that through the sheer power of your love, you’re going to turn a commitmentphobe into a husband.
Men don’t change, no matter how much you want them to. So please, set yourself free, move on, and find someone who wants to be your lifetime partner.
5.You’re always the one making an effort.
Are you always the one initiating dates or checking in by text? Is it always you asking about what’s going on with his life without him taking any interest back in you?
This is extremely common behavior. It’s also extremely unfortunate.
It’s like you have a lifeless body and you keep giving it CPR. If you stopped, you know the relationship would die, so you keep doing whatever it takes to keep it alive.
That’s not how healthy relationships operate. They’re not only reciprocal, but in the best relationships, the man is the one who is making a greater effort for you.
He asks questions. He listens to your answers. He follows up after dates to make plans again quickly. He texts you sweet nothings multiple times a day. He leaves his weekends open for you. This is what good boyfriends do.
If he’s not doing them, you’re left carrying the load. You’re making plans. You’re checking in emotionally. You’re left wondering whether you’re building anything for the future.
And, as you well know, you’re not. The best sign to get out of a relationship is when a man exhibits consistent ambivalence. So stop doing all the work for him. Sit back and observe what he does for you. If you’re not satisfied, why continue to settle for a relationship which drains your energy rather than replenishing it?
6.He’s into other women as much as he’s into you.
Does he talk about other women, point them out, or bring up past girlfriends?
This is normal behavior, given that every man you’ll date will have a history of exes and still find other women attractive. The problem isn’t that your boyfriend is a red-blooded heterosexual male. The problem is that your boyfriend is more into other women than you.
He puts his ex-girlfriend’s needs over yours.
He comments on Instagram models but refuses to acknowledge you as Facebook official girlfriend.
He doesn’t just talk to other women at parties but he leers at them and takes action, making them think he’s not in a relationship.
You may think he’s being disrespectful. He may think his behavior is benign. But if the man you’re seeing is consistently focused on other women over you, pay attention.
Some guys need a few years to sow their oats and mature. It’s not your job to wait for him to do so.
7.There’s no progress in the relationship.
If you’re three months into the relationship and you’re only seeing each other once a week, you have a problem.
If you’re six months into the relationship and he’s never seriously talked about a future, you have a problem.
If you’re one year into the relationship and he’s never said “I love you,” you have a problem.
If you’re two years into the relationship and you’re not earnestly talking about next steps towards marriage, you have a problem.
If you want to talk about next steps and he refuses to talk about it, you have a problem.
The kind of relationship you want should have an organic momentum. Not only should it move forward, HE should want to move it forward as much as you do.
If you’re the only one who is thinking about a future, don’t waste another minute waiting for him. He’s not the man you want him to be, no matter how much you wish he was.
Get out Fast
Do any of those seven signs resonate with you? Do ALL of them?
If so, don’t waste your time. You may have stayed too long out of chemistry and inertia and wishful thinking but staying in a dead-end relationship is a recipe for disaster.
Don’t stay because you love him. If you don’t feel loved in return, it doesn’t matter.
Don’t stay because it was once good. All relationships have their moments. The reason you stay is because he continues to listen to you, prioritize you and take care of you.
Don’t stay because you’re afraid you can’t do better. You can.
You deserve someone who makes you feel like you’re a prize, someone you don’t have to worry about abandoning you.
As I teach in Love U: every second you’re with the wrong guy is a second you’re not looking for the right guy.